On a sunny spring morning, the true meaning of relaxation was revealed to us as we travelled from London to Cornwall in our Jaguar F-PACE. Although the purpose of our journey was to wind down from busy London lives into the calming comforts of Cornwall, we could think of no better companion than the fast paced and distinctively sporty new Jaguar, chosen as the winner of the 2017 World Car of the Year and World Car Design of the Year Awards at the New York International Auto Show. The car’s true comfort and elegance made five hours or so of travel feel like a flash, with pure driving pleasure.
Arriving on the Cornish coast we could hear the soft sound of the waves breaking gently on the beach and rocks with the blue waters moving back and forth revealing the golden sand of Mawgan Porth, the magical surroundings of Cornwall’s luxury eco hotel The Scarlet, welcoming us in the most exquisite way. Many hotels make the claim they allow you to feel as a welcome guest in the house of a long held friend. The Scarlet does this with considerable credibility, whether it is the welcoming refreshments offered on arrival or the unobtrusive hospitality you enjoy throughout your stay you sense you have come to a very special place. Not often are you offered a choice of an afternoon champagne tea, a bottle of English fizz, fresh flowers or chocolates upon arrival. We opted for a modest cup of tea - for now. Later, we were treated to a surprising selection of local wines by the The Scarlet’s very knowledgable sommelier, revealing to us the fast growing quality wine produce of the region.
On entering the hotel you sense it's an oasis of calm and beauty with a welcoming and relaxing view of the ocean. The rooms all enjoy sea view paired with exclusive and relaxing design. In fact, every corner of the hotel has been designed with its location in mind. Floor-to-ceiling windows frame the meadow gardens, cliffs, sand, sea, the most dramatic skies, and sunsets of every shade. Rooms, which are spread over five levels, come with their own outdoor space and open-plan bathrooms to ensure the connection with the view is never broken. You can enjoy far-reaching views of the beach and sea beyond. This makes you feel connected to the unique location, both indoors and out. The hotel is a balance of light, airy spaces with cosy, private areas which allow you to mix with other guests or enjoy peace and solitude.
Although in the early days of spring we are lucky to have beautiful weather and enjoy the sun loungers in the front garden overlooking the ocean.
Importantly, this is a hotel for grown ups. As we appreciate this, our attention is drawn to what had been so inviting when we first considered visiting this place, the essence of the Scarlet, a soak in the cliff-top hot tubs with some English sparkling wine followed by a rhassoul bathing ritual in the spa. The Scarlet offers you serenity, a chance to escape from life’s fast pace, slow down and truly enjoy nature and peace of mind with a selection of great food.
The Scarlet has been serving fresh, locally sourced food since 2009. Led by Head Chef Mike Francis, the team bring together modern European-style dishes with the gusto of Cornwall at its heart. Working with Cornwall’s innovative, organic and sustainable growers, farmers and fishermen, they source the best produce the county has to offer. And hence the menus change regularly and with the seasons. For starters we opted for the crab and sweetcorn chowder with spring onions, mussels and saffron potatoes and the vegetarian option of chargrilled purple sprouting broccoli with deep fried halloumi. Impressed by the range of vegetarian dishes on the menu this was followed by twice baked asparagus and followed and pan fried sea trout.
After a hearty breakfast served in our room the following day we observed Mawgan Porth coming alive with flocks of visitors, either strolling leisurely on the beach or taking advantage of the excellent surfing opportunities in the bay. We, however, headed further afield joining a few hikers on a scenic trail north of the bay, a suitable feat for a measured exercise before exploring other Cornish delights in the coming days.